happy birthday, heed the feed!

Today marks the one year anniversary of HTF’s first post! This year has been filled with learning, more learning, fun, lots of blessings, and, um, yes! More learning! Thank you to my encouragers and thanks to my new friends and readers!

Happy Birthday, Heed the Feed!

These pictures are taken from a recipe from the archives: Mama’s Birthday Cake, October 7, 2011

strawberry buttercream

Do I realize I just did a buttercream recipe several weeks ago? Mmhmm. Big whoop, right? It’s icing. Plus, my brother’s birthday was yesterday. Sniff, sniff, he’s no longer a teenager. The big two oh. It’s weird, you know? I totally remember the Power Ranger phase, the skateboarding phase, the long hair phase, the Barney phase. And now he’s an adult. Phew. Movin’ on up.

Remember those big ol’ South Carolina strawberries I was telling you about a little bit ago? They are coming back into play for this recipe. I used some berries from Lowrys, SC and they are it. This buttercream is sweet, happy, and I’m gonna say addicting, just because I love strawberries and I couldn’t stop eating it from the tip of the piping bag. Oh, please don’t tell my family. I don’t have germs, hehh.

My sister told me this cake looked too girly. Sorry, brother. We’re cool, though, right?

strawberry buttercream
yield: enough for a 3 layer cake or 24 cupcakes time: 10 minutes
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup strawberries, puréed
4 cups unrefined powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Add the strawberry purée and mix until thoroughly combined. While the mixer is running on low, gradually add the powdered sugar until it’s incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 2 minutes, until fluffy. Adjust the powdered sugar to create the right consistency, if needed. The buttercream should be pliable, but firm enough to hold a peak.

Happy Birthday, Joey! Here’s to lots more years of siblinghood!

fluffy marshmallow frosting

Today was Gowie’s birthday! You all remember Gowie. Gowie (grandmother), the one who gave me my KitchenAid and still supplies me with pantryfuls of candy. She turned 22 again. I remember when I turned 22 and we were the same age. That was weird. Then I remember when I turned 23 and surpassed my 22-year-old Gowie. That was weird, too, but I think it was that year that I realized why she turns 22 years old every birthday. But, despite that realization, my age kept on churning to my current ripe 25 and she is still standing firm at 22. I like it. She is totally awesome and loves Jesus and likes to have more fun than lots of people I know who are younger than 22. She knows how to rap, knows sweet lingo, loves Neil Diamond (whoops, that slipped in), and my cousins and I were even going to name our rock band after her. It was going to be called, simply, Gowie.

You may be wondering why her name is Gowie. It’s not too complicated. My twin sister and I are weird and had our own language when we were babies. We’d babble back and forth and absolutely knew what the other was saying, but in real life, it sounded something like, “abbeldabblick gorkadips.” Well, our two older cousins could speak English and called Gowie “Granny” and we wanted to be cool like them and also call Gowie “Granny”. “Granny” came out as Gowie. And, so, now the whole world calls her Gowie. I’ll bet her birth certificate just says “Gowie.” I’ll bet she introduces herself to strangers as “Gowie.”

So, yes. Today was Gowie’s birthday and we most certainly had a birthday party. There would be no other way. We sang, took pictures, passed around sentimental cards, and ate the cake I made her for her party. I wanted it to be special. After all, Gowie was turning 22 again and it needed to be her cake. She loves chocolate. Check. Chocolate cake. I didn’t want to it be, like, double double double chocolate, so I made this really fun, yummy, stick-your-fingers-in-the-cake frosting. I used this when I made my sister’s wedding cakes and it’s really easy to decorate with. You just plop it on and spread. And since it’s so fluffy and pretty and cloud-like, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

I got this recipe from King Arthur Flour’s website (they make the bomb flour, by the way). I changed the title because the frosting is really like fluffy marshmallow topping.

fluffy marshmallow frosting
2 large egg whites
1 cup natural cane sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place the 2 egg whites in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat until the egg whites are foamy and thick. They should mound in the bowl, without holding a peak. Set them aside while you prepare the sugar syrup.
Combine the sugar, cream of tartar, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. The sugar should be dissolved. If the sugar hasn’t dissolved, cook and stir a bit more until it has.
Begin to beat the egg whites and immediately pour the boiling sugar syrup into the egg whites in a slow stream, beating all the while. As you beat, the mixture will thicken.
Once all the syrup is added, stir in the vanilla and continue to beat until the frosting is thick and will hold a peak, about 3 minutes. While the frosting is still a little warm, decorate your cake.

Happy Birthday, Gowie. I hope we all stay 22 like you.